170,000 Hajj pilgrims have benefited so far from Makkah Road Initiative: Saudi official

Chairman of the Supervisory Committee for Makkah Route Initiative and Director General of Passports Maj. Gen. Sulaiman bin Abdulrahman AlYahya revealed that 170,000 Hajj pilgrims have benefited so far from the Makkah Road Initiative.

Speaking to the Union of OIC News Agencies (UNA), AlYahya said the Makkah Road Initiative was launched to facilitate the journey of pilgrims, where the Hajj procedures being completed in the country of departure. Consequently, the pilgrims board the plane as if they are on a domestic flight, with the baggage being sent to their accommodations in Makkah or Madinah ahead of their departure.

The director general of passports noted that the initiative streamlines procedures for the pilgrims, so that they disembark from the flight and go directly to the buses that transfer them to Makkah immediately without passing through checkpoints. He explained that five Islamic countries have so far benefited from the initiative, namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Tunisia.

AlYahya underlined that the General Directorate of Passports is ready to expand the initiative in the coming years, to include more countries, pointing out that this depends on the request of the parties, and the approval of the competent authorities.

Source: International Islamic News Agency